By Peter J. Suter
City College men’s baseball team fell short 7-6 against De Anza College April 5th after coming back from a 6-0 deficit in the ninth and pushing the game into extra innings.
After allowing the first three batters on base, starting pitcher Jesse Stein (#10) survived the first inning by only allowing one run. Stein was helped by a beautifully executed doubleplay by second baseman Ian Chiang (#5) and shortstop Justin T. Robinson (#4).
Stein settled down after the first run was scored and it wasn’t until the top of the fourth inning with two outs that Stein gave up two more runs, furthering De Anza’s lead.
De Anza would extend their lead to 6-0 going into the ninth, but the Rams rallied to tie it up 6-6 to take the game into extra innings.
As the crowd packed up to beat rush hour traffic, the Rams mounted a comeback that showed the resilience and true grit of the team.
The Rams loaded the bases with two walks and a single with no outs.
A flurry of runs sparked their ninth inning comeback lead by a RBI single from freshman Jacob Wiechmann (#25).
Next batter freshman Justin D. Robinson (#15) was hit by a pitch, which forced in a run with bases still loaded.
With the score at 6-2, sophomore third baseman Matt Schivo (#2) lined a two run RBI double into the gap in right center.
Freshman Eric Wasserman (#22) then smashed an RBI single past De Anza’s shortstop, inching closer at 6-5.
With the tying run on third and winning run on second, leadoff hitter Robinson (#4) ripped a hard hit ball to De Anza’s second baseman, who bobbled the play scoring Schivo from third and Robinson beating the throw to first.
The Rams had shifted the momentum in their favor; unfortunately, the next batter grounded into a double play that ended the inning.
De Anza led off the 10th with a walk and advanced into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt.
The next batter hit a comebacker to Rams’ pitcher Jordan Montoya (#11) who was able to get the lead runner at third base for the second out of the inning.
The Rams were unable to escape the inning unscathed when the next De Anza batter hit a looping Texas Leaguer down the right field line to score the runner from first base. Rockwell was able to get the last out without further damage.
Unfortunately, the Rams were unable to mount another comeback in the bottom half of the 10th ending the game in a loss 7-6.
“It wasn’t our best game, but we battled hard,” Head Coach Mario Mendoza said. “Most teams would have given up and just gone through the motions – not these guys – they compete to the end; that’s what I love about our team right now!”
Sophomore catcher Bobby Chu had an outstanding night at the plate going three-for-four with three singles and keyed the ninth inning rally with a single.
“I was just seeing the ball really well. Our coaches did a good job preparing us with a lot of left handed pitching in practice,” Chu said.
This was the third time the Rams faced De Anza College splitting wins in the previous two encounters. The Rams face De Anza in an away game on Saturday, April 7th, hoping for a chance to tie the season series.